This leadership and self deception book pdf free download is about psychological, philosophical, and societal aspects of shame. People employ negative coping responses to counter deep rooted, associated sense of “shameworthiness”.
A “state of shame” is assigned internally from being a victim of environment where the sense of self is stigmatized like being denigrated by caregivers, overtly rejected by parents in favor of siblings needs, etc. Behaviors designed to “uncover” or “expose” others are sometimes used for this purpose, as are utterances like “Shame! For being born somewhere else”. Lewis argued that, “The experience of shame is directly about the self, which is the focus of evaluation. In guilt, the self is not the central object of negative evaluation, but rather the thing done is the focus. While guilt is a painful feeling of regret and responsibility for one’s actions, shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person. Kaufman saw that mechanisms such as blame or contempt may be used as a defending strategy against the experience of shame and that someone who has a pattern of applying them to himself may well attempt to defend against a shame experience by applying self-blame or self-contempt.
This, however, can lead to an internalized, self-reinforcing sequence of shame events for which Kaufman coined the term “shame spiral”. Shame can also be used as a strategy when feeling guilt, in particular when there is the hope to avoid punishment by inspiring pity. Another view of the dividing line between shame and embarrassment holds that the difference is one of intensity. In this view embarrassment is simply a less intense experience of shame.
It is adaptive and functional. Extreme or toxic shame is a much more intense experience and one that is not functional. In fact on this view toxic shame can be debilitating. The dividing line then is between functional and dysfunctional shame.